ROCKFORD — The Golden Apple Foundation of Rockford and the family of Don Zimmerman are offering a new scholarship opportunity for area teachers in Don’s memory.


This scholarship is for those teachers who do not yet have a master’s degree. It grants an existing teacher a full-tuition scholarship at Rockford University to complete their Master of Education degree.


To be eligible for this scholarship, applicants must be certified K-12 teachers who have completed a minimum of two years as a full-time teacher and who are currently teaching fulltime in a public school or ISBE-recognized non-public school in Winnebago or Boone County. Applicants must be employed in good standing within his/her current school district and must have applied for admittance to Rockford University’s Master of Education program prior to application submission. The 2020 Don Zimmerman/Golden Apple Foundation Scholarship recipient must maintain a minimum 2.5 GPA.


Don Zimmerman began teaching locally in 1956 at Rockford West High School as an orchestra teacher. He later taught at Guilford High School. His goal was to inspire students to excel to the best of their ability in every facet of their lives.


Don and his friend, Richard Novak, started a collective community effort to recognize excellence in teaching with the founding of Golden Apple Foundation in 1997. The foundation continues its mission of inspiring, celebrating and supporting educational excellence in the community through awards and recognition; the Golden Apple Teacher Academy; classroom project grants and now, teacher scholarships.


Applications must be submitted by 5 p.m. May 15. Finalists will be contacted by May 30, and the recipient will be announced by June 15.


To apply: goldenappleofrockford.com.